Erik & Phillippa: Part 3 – A life with infertility
Three years have passed since we got engaged and swapped our bikes for cars. We still don’t have the children we dream about having.
I am tired of hearing about all my friends who can get pregnant just by “looking at each other”. I stopped being happy on their behalf. Phillippa stopped having the interest to attend all the christenings we were invited to.
I didn’t feel the same way, mainly because at first, I would not disappoint our friends – So cancelling was not an option for me. Phillippa participated in the christenings with me, even though she eventually hated it. We had five to six christenings in the first year while trying to conceive ourselves!
I didn’t mind all the babies around me. It is pretty hard to be mad at a baby. For me, it was all the successful pregnancies that were bothering me.
It’s so damn unfair!
Phillippa and I have worked hard to get to the position we have today. We have not taken life for granted. We have both struggled throughout our lives. I lost my father when I was 19, and Phillippa’s family have been through a difficult divorce. But none of us has at any point given up on life. We have not allowed life crises to discourage us. We have always overcome our struggles
Now, I’m actually not the type that reacts with violent outbreaks. But this is so damn annoying. My way of dealing with infertility is to be snappy and easily irritated. I am snappy towards my employees and especially towards my own mother. I don’t have anyone to talk to about infertility and our personal struggles. In our everyday life, I feel that we are standing still, waiting. Waiting for a pregnancy that has not happened.
I try not to be snappy or unnecessary irritated with Phillippa but I feel that she blames me for this fertility journey. She hates the fertility treatments so much that she is willing to accept the fact that we might never have a child the natural way.
I know how much she wants to have a baby, so I will never give up fighting. With fertility treatments, we might have a good chance of conceiving, and I don’t want to give up hopes of being a parent until we have tried everything possible.
I wish that I could do more to help with the process Phillippa and I are in. I feel alone, standing here on the sideline without any power to contribute. But I think that my most important task right now is to stay strong for both of us. My relationship with Phillippa has been tested many times and she has more than once packed her clothes and left, but I have always been able to get her back home again. On our wedding, I promised to be with her for the rest of our lives and would like to keep this commitment during this fertility process.
Bad sperm quality
Actually, sperm quality was never an issue for me. I have always thought that my sperm quality was good of course, why shouldn’t it be? I am healthy so of course, my sperm quality is good.
Before this baby project, I have never had any worries about whether Phillippa and I would have children. I went through life thinking that I can get everything I want when I want it.
But when nothing happened after months of trying, I began to wonder about the quality of my swimmers.
Many articles have mentioned that my sperm quality has been impaired over the last couple of years. I have been driving with seat heating, worked with the computer over my lap, eating unhealthy foods, drinking and partying over many weekends. All these reasons could explain my low sperm numbers. But again, many other males have had much worse lifestyles than me and still made the dad title.
The whole experience of sperm testing in the hospital was un-sexy and mechanical. You feel like a patient stepping into the fertility department.
The result of my sperm quality test was sadly not very impressive. And now I have it, black on white.
It’s not something that I am proud of, but on the other hand; I am not embarrassed by it.
When asking at the fertility clinic if there is something I can do to improve my sperm, I am told that there isn’t much I can do. “Try not to put your laptop on your legs and don’t drink alcohol” … great advice. But, nothing about diet, toxins, supplements or exercise.
Since we started working with ExSeed, more focus has been on me and what more I can contribute to not only improving our odds but also taking some of the pressure off Philippa. It has been great to get real and practical guidance and find out that my lifestyle matters too.